I get a funny feeling my manager is scared of me…

After a llllllooooonnnnngggg, tedious day listening to our OH&S dept. talk about OH&S controls, I had my annual review with my manager. I was pretty nervous about it becase of last year’s events and also because I was the last one on his list.

I have a vague recollection of blogging what happened last year, but I can’t locate it in my archives. To fill you in…I was off sick for most of the 2001/2002 rating period. My manager said that meant I had not and could not have achieved as much as my other team members, and so I would have to be rated a 3 (1 being ‘extraordinary’, 2 being ‘achieved/exceeded commitments’, 3 being ‘some commitments’ achieved and 4 being ‘unsatisfactory’).

Fortunately, I had done my research and discovered that according to our HR policy, he was only allowed to rate my achievements during the period I had actually worked not over the entire year. I considered that my rating should be 1 (I had completed a major project for our team, that was receiving fantastic feedback from high-level executives who wanted to use part of it for a company-wide initiative).

I was still struggling with really bad depression at the time, so the implication that even when I had been at my best I was still only just ‘satisfactory’ really upset me. Particularly since I hadn’t received any recognition for the project that was received so well by the exec team. I mentioned that to my manager when I challenged the 3 rating, and he was shocked that I hadn’t received an award.

Eventually, I had to meet with him and my second-line manager of the time, a dragon-bitch-woman if ever there was one. That meeting would have been hard even if I wasn’t in the extremely depressed state I was in, and it was hell, but I handled myself well in it. The minute I walked in to the meeting, DBW handed me an envelope containing a substantial award, and apologised that I hadn’t received recognition for that project sooner. I knew I was supposed to just say “Thank you, ma’am. Don’t worry about changing my rating then, ’cause you’ve already done sooo much for me.”, but I decided to stand my ground. She didn’t like that.

I calmly explained my understanding of the HR policy, that I considered my performance during the time of my illness to be better than just ‘satisfactory’ and I backed it up with reasons why, complete with printouts of feedback that had been emailed to me. She stated that a 3 rating meant that you were performing your job adequately. I said that the implication I was just ‘scraping through’ and doing no more than was required during the period I was not off sick was offensive to me, and I considered that I should rate a 2 at the very least. Eventually, she said she would have to review the situation, but did not think it would change.

Within 2 hours, I had received a phone call from my manager stating that my rating was now a 2. They must have called up HR straight away and been told that they could not discriminate against me for my illness.

Victory was mine. Bwwhahahaha!

Seriously, though, all I was asking was for my performance to be considered fairly.

This year I was again worried about how they would perceive my work given that I was off ill again for a significant portion of the year, and this time did not have any major projects that I had completed. I prepared by printing off all my feedback again, and by working out exactly how much of the working year I had worked (42%, to be exact). I needn’t have worried though, my manager rated me a good, solid, perfectly respectable 2, without any of last years dramas.


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February 2003
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